What is the value of design?

Have you asked that question? Or been asked it?

Hard to answer, isn’t it?

We have many such questions:

  • What is the value of an education?
  • What is the value of having a family?

It is hard to answer in a deductive, objective manner a question that is knit into the fabric of how things are.  And, frankly, it is difficult to answer when the value of that something requires more than the presence of it; you must do something with it.

The value of design is not easily objectively isolated and measured, and yet, like my education and family, I know it adds value.  Still, I, like many of you, am chasing the magic answer on the value of design, and more broadly, design thinking.  I know design is truly valuable and I have conducted several analyses over time that legitimize that truth.

Most recently. I was encouraged by the study conducted and shared by Jeneanne Rae which showed an aggregate trend in design driven companies versus the S&P 500 Index in which design driven companies grew +228% faster than the S&P over 10 years.

The real secret, however, is not the impressive growth number. It is the commitment that these companies showed towards doing something with design, even without this proof when they made those decisions.



Read Jeneanne Rae’s article in the DMI Journal form Winter 2013.

Join Design Impact, me and DMI president, Michael Westcott, Friday the 23rd at 4:00 EST for a brief tweet chat on design value. #TrippinwithDI, #designvalue

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